Monday, July 18, 2011

Raise Your Glass!

          You’re sitting on the beach during the day, enjoying a bottle of Rosé with your friends. At night you hit the club and a huge bottle of vodka is served on the table. You’re having the time of your life. And suddenly, you realize your belly is growing bigger and bigger! You know the reason why, but you can’t stop it. You can’t sacrifice the good times just so you can have that perfect body.

Well, even though drinking doesn’t really fit into a healthy lifestyle, you don’t have to give it up completely. You just need to integrate it smartly into your diet.

Why alcohol isn’t exactly the best choice
With 7 calories/g, alcohol is second to fat (9 calories/g). However, it is metabolized first in the body, ahead of burning fat; this is not desirable when on a weight loss program!
Moreover, most alcoholic drinks are high in calories but low in nutrients. They don’t have any nutritional value and that’s why we call them empty calories. Unlike alcohol, food provides you with vitamins and minerals essential to your body functions and with a satiety effect that lasts long.
Besides, drinking increases your appetite and that’s why you find yourself having that full fat “breakfast” at 4 in the morning!

Ways to cut down on your alcohol intake while enjoying yourself
Alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Have an alcoholic drink followed by a diet soda or even a glass of water. It lets you reduce intake, prevents you from getting drunk and keeps you well hydrated.
Always choose spirits (vodka, whiskey, gin…) over cocktails. Cocktails are very rich in calories. They usually contain juices, syrups, liqueur… which are high in sugar. Besides they taste so good that you’ll finish them faster than a glass of whiskey on the rocks!
Here are the calories of a few cocktail drinks:
Pina Colada
Long Island
Bloody Mary
Mai Tai

Vodka, whiskey, gin and rum are the best choices for a drink. They don’t contain many calories and you can’t drink them so fast. In fact, 28g (the thickness of one finger in a short glass) of each contains 78 calories only! You can always add a diet soda or a sparkling water, calorie free!
You can also have a glass of wine for 120 calories or a beer for 150!
 Add ice every now and then…  When you feel like the ice in your drink is starting to melt, add a cube. This trick will help you stick with the same drink for a longer period of time. That way you won’t have to refill it more frequently. You will be saving yourself both the calories and the money!
 Vary your outings. The best thing you can do during a weight loss program is to limit your alcohol intake to weekends and try to find other non-alcohol related activities to do during weekdays: bowling, movies, watch a concert or a play…
 Integrate alcohol into your diet. Fix the maximum number of drinks you can have weekly and divide the calories throughout the week. For example, if you allow yourself 4 glasses of vodka per week, 2 for every outing, it gives you a total of around 320 calories. Divide them by 7 days. You will only have to reduce your daily intake of around 45 calories, which is not so hard to do!
Always relate the calories you’re having from a drink to the ones you can have from food! Think of the food you can consume for that amount of calories and you will then think twice before drinking excessively! In fact, a Long Island that you can sip in a maximum of 30 minutes provides 700 calories; whereas an entire meal can provide that same amount of energy with a satiety effect that lasts longer!

          Can’t enjoy a party without alcohol? Maybe! But all things are better in moderation! And even though you will be having a limited amount of drinks, remember: safety comes first so don’t drink and drive!



Rabih A. said...

Sh*t! My favorite drink is the Long Island!

Anonymous said...

Long Island 780 Calories?!!
Damn!! Nad i wish u wrote ur article a yr ago !:p

Nadine Issa said...

I'm sorry guys for the bad news!
Bedig better late than never! ;)

A Bare Truth said...

I can't tolerate more than one drink. Lebanese wines makes me sick, they are high on acidity. So I always settle on beer which is not ideal. It seems like 90% of social activities revolve around eating and drinking

Anonymous said...

now i see where all my calories are coming from!
:( :(


paola ghanimeh said...

thx for the advice nadine! will be sticking to wiskey with diet coke full ice :D

Lulu said...

Bravo Nadoooo....very interesting article! im so proud of u (K)
Ta jeune maman Lulu!

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